Youngest County in Every State

July 9, 2019 by Sam Stebbins

Source: wundervisuals / Getty Images
More than half of all Americans are currently under 38 years of age. By 2060, however, the majority will be at least 43-years-old, according to Census Bureau projections. Though the United States as a whole is aging rapidly, there are parts of the country where the number of young people is a defining demographic characteristic.

The increasingly aging population is largely the product of a falling birth rate and long-term improvements in life expectancy. Despite this trend, almost every state has at least one county where the median age is far lower than typical. 24/7 Tempo reviewed median age by county using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey to identify the youngest county in every state. These counties are often urban and include independent cities in Maryland and Virginia that effectively function as counties.

Many of the counties on this list are home to large colleges and universities. As the vast majority of the 19.9 million college and university students in the United States are under 25 years old, the presence of a post-secondary institution can reduce the median age of any county. Several of the counties on this list are home to large public universities, and in some, more than one in every four residents are enrolled in college or graduate school.

Though school is not the only reason young people relocate. People in their 20s and 30s move for work, friends, family, and a desire to live somewhere they love. These are the 40 cities young people are moving to.

Some counties on this list skew younger due to a growing number of new families. In the youngest counties in Alaska, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah, more than one in every 10 residents are under age 5. New families can also drive population growth, and the vast majority of counties on this list are larger now than they were five years ago. Almost every state in the country has at least one county or county equivalent where the population grew at a faster rate than the nation as a whole since 2010. These are each state’s fastest growing county.

Just because a county has the youngest population in the state does not necessarily mean it is younger than the United States as a whole. In both Connecticut and Maine, the median age in the youngest county is higher than the 37.8-year national median. Both Connecticut and Maine rank among the oldest states in the country, with median ages of 40.8 years and 44.3 years respectively. Life expectancy in some states increased by just three years since 1980, and by as much as nine years in others — these are the states where people live the longest.

Click here to see the youngest county in every state.
Click here to see our methodology.

Source: hyku / Flickr

1. Alabama: Lee County
> Median age: 31.0 years (county), 38.7 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 21.6% (county), 22.7% (state)
> Population: 156,597
> Life expectancy: 76.5 years
> County seat: Opelika

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

2. Alaska: Kusilvak Census Area
> Median age: 24.0 years (borough), 33.9 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 39.7% (borough), 25.2% (state)
> Population: 8,129
> Life expectancy: 70.8 years
> Largest city: Hooper Bay

Source: fdastudillo / Getty Images

3. Arizona: Coconino County
> Median age: 30.6 years (county), 37.2 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 21.5% (county), 23.8% (state)
> Population: 138,639
> Life expectancy: 79.4 years
> County seat: Flagstaff

Source: arkansasoutside / Flickr

4. Arkansas: Washington County
> Median age: 31.5 years (county), 37.9 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 24.9% (county), 23.7% (state)
> Population: 223,683
> Life expectancy: 78.1 years
> County seat: Fayetteville

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Source: tupungato / Getty Images

5. California: Tulare County
> Median age: 30.6 years (county), 36.1 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 31.4% (county), 23.4% (state)
> Population: 458,809
> Life expectancy: 78.3 years
> County seat: Visalia

Source: Jeffrey Beall / Wikimedia Commons

6. Colorado: Alamosa County
> Median age: 30.3 years (county), 36.5 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 24.3% (county), 23% (state)
> Population: 16,345
> Life expectancy: 77.4 years
> County seat: Alamosa

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Source: jjbers / Flickr

7. Connecticut: Tolland County
> Median age: 37.9 years (county), 40.8 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 18.1% (county), 21.2% (state)
> Population: 151,596
> Life expectancy: 81.6 years
> Largest city: Vernon

Source: JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD / Wikimedia Commons

8. Delaware: Kent County
> Median age: 37.3 years (county), 39.8 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 23.4% (county), 21.6% (state)
> Population: 173,145
> Life expectancy: 77.5 years
> County seat: Dover

Source: Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

9. Florida: Leon County
> Median age: 30.5 years (county), 41.8 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 18.8% (county), 20.3% (state)
> Population: 285,890
> Life expectancy: 79.4 years
> County seat: Tallahassee

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Source: ganatlguard / Flickr

10. Georgia: Chattahoochee County
> Median age: 23.7 years (county), 36.4 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 22.3% (county), 24.5% (state)
> Population: 11,096
> Life expectancy: 77.1 years
> County seat: Cusseta

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Source: Thinkstock

11. Hawaii: Honolulu County
> Median age: 37.6 years (county), 38.8 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 21.4% (county), 21.6% (state)
> Population: 990,060
> Life expectancy: 81.4 years
> County seat: Honolulu

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Source: kenlund / Flickr

12. Idaho: Madison County
> Median age: 23.5 years (county), 35.9 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 27.1% (county), 26.2% (state)
> Population: 38,241
> Life expectancy: 81.1 years
> County seat: Rexburg

Source: eyfoto / Getty Images

13. Illinois: Champaign County
> Median age: 29.7 years (county), 37.7 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 19.0% (county), 23% (state)
> Population: 207,946
> Life expectancy: 80.3 years
> County seat: Urbana

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

14. Indiana: Tippecanoe County
> Median age: 28.1 years (county), 37.5 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 20.7% (county), 23.9% (state)
> Population: 186,081
> Life expectancy: 79.1 years
> County seat: Lafayette

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Source: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

15. Iowa: Story County
> Median age: 25.9 years (county), 38.1 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 16.9% (county), 23.4% (state)
> Population: 95,888
> Life expectancy: 82.1 years
> County seat: Nevada

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

16. Kansas: Riley County
> Median age: 24.9 years (county), 36.3 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 16.9% (county), 24.7% (state)
> Population: 75,696
> Life expectancy: 81.5 years
> County seat: Manhattan

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Source: BOB WESTON / Getty Images

17. Kentucky: Christian County
> Median age: 28.4 years (county), 38.6 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 27.6% (county), 22.9% (state)
> Population: 72,438
> Life expectancy: 75.6 years
> County seat: Hopkinsville

Source: texasbackroads / Flickr

18. Louisiana: Lincoln Parish
> Median age: 27.6 years (parish), 36.4 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 20.2% (parish), 23.9% (state)
> Population: 47,536
> Life expectancy: 77.4 years
> Parish seat: Ruston

Source: sociotechnika / Flickr

19. Maine: Androscoggin County
> Median age: 40.7 years (county), 44.3 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 21.9% (county), 19.3% (state)
> Population: 107,317
> Life expectancy: 78.3 years
> County seat: Auburn

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Source: JNix / Shutterstock.com

20. Maryland: Baltimore
> Median age: 35.0 years (county), 38.5 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 21.0% (county), 22.5% (state)
> Population: 619,796
> Life expectancy: 72.1 years
> County seat: N/A

Source: danlogan / iStock

21. Massachusetts: Suffolk County
> Median age: 32.6 years (county), 39.4 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 17.0% (county), 20.4% (state)
> Population: 780,685
> Life expectancy: 79.9 years
> County seat: Boston

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Source: Rebecca / Wikimedia Commons

22. Michigan: Isabella County
> Median age: 27.4 years (county), 39.6 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 17.4% (county), 22.3% (state)
> Population: 70,572
> Life expectancy: 79.1 years
> County seat: Mount Pleasant

Source: jferrer / Getty Images

23. Minnesota: Blue Earth County
> Median age: 30.6 years (county), 37.9 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 19.7% (county), 23.4% (state)
> Population: 65,767
> Life expectancy: 81.0 years
> County seat: Mankato

Source: digitalcj / Flickr

24. Mississippi: Oktibbeha County
> Median age: 25.4 years (county), 36.9 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 17.5% (county), 24.3% (state)
> Population: 49,392
> Life expectancy: 77.9 years
> County seat: Starkville

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Source: 10189008@N05 / Flickr

25. Missouri: Adair County
> Median age: 27.3 years (county), 38.4 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 18.0% (county), 22.9% (state)
> Population: 25,437
> Life expectancy: 78.0 years
> County seat: Kirksville

Source: afiler / Flickr

26. Montana: Big Horn County
> Median age: 29.9 years (county), 39.8 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 33.6% (county), 22% (state)
> Population: 13,290
> Life expectancy: 73.6 years
> County seat: Hardin

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

27. Nebraska: Thurston County
> Median age: 28.1 years (county), 36.3 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 35.6% (county), 24.8% (state)
> Population: 7,055
> Life expectancy: 73.9 years
> County seat: Pender

Source: jmoor17 / Getty Images

28. Nevada: Elko County
> Median age: 34.1 years (county), 37.7 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 27.7% (county), 23.2% (state)
> Population: 52,377
> Life expectancy: 78.3 years
> County seat: Elko

Source: mountinez / Getty Images

29. New Hampshire: Strafford County
> Median age: 37.0 years (county), 42.7 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 19.3% (county), 19.8% (state)
> Population: 126,552
> Life expectancy: 79.5 years
> County seat: Dover

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

30. New Jersey: Hudson County
> Median age: 34.9 years (county), 39.6 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 20.4% (county), 22.3% (state)
> Population: 679,756
> Life expectancy: 80.3 years
> County seat: Jersey City

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Source: Wordbuilder / Wikimedia Commons

31. New Mexico: Roosevelt County
> Median age: 29.7 years (county), 37.3 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 24.6% (county), 23.9% (state)
> Population: 19,313
> Life expectancy: 77.9 years
> County seat: Portales

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Source: benedek / Getty Images

32. New York: Tompkins County
> Median age: 30.4 years (county), 38.4 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 15.2% (county), 21.2% (state)
> Population: 104,415
> Life expectancy: 81.2 years
> County seat: Ithaca

Source: jacksonvillenc.gov

33. North Carolina: Onslow County
> Median age: 26.0 years (county), 38.4 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 24.5% (county), 22.8% (state)
> Population: 192,685
> Life expectancy: 77.6 years
> County seat: Jacksonville

34. North Dakota: Sioux County
> Median age: 26.9 years (county), 35.1 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 37.5% (county), 22.9% (state)
> Population: 4,420
> Life expectancy: 68.6 years
> County seat: Fort Yates

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Source: OhioOat / Wikimedia Commons

35. Ohio: Athens County
> Median age: 28.6 years (county), 39.3 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 15.0% (county), 22.6% (state)
> Population: 65,563
> Life expectancy: 76.9 years
> County seat: Athens

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

36. Oklahoma: Payne County
> Median age: 27.2 years (county), 36.3 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 19.4% (county), 24.5% (state)
> Population: 80,634
> Life expectancy: 78.4 years
> County seat: Stillwater

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Source: Thinkstock

37. Oregon: Benton County
> Median age: 32.8 years (county), 39.2 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 16.7% (county), 21.5% (state)
> Population: 88,249
> Life expectancy: 82.1 years
> County seat: Corvallis

Source: aimintang / Getty Images

38. Pennsylvania: Centre County
> Median age: 31.3 years (county), 40.7 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 15.3% (county), 21% (state)
> Population: 160,646
> Life expectancy: 81.9 years
> County seat: Bellefonte

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

39. Rhode Island: Providence County
> Median age: 37.3 years (county), 39.9 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 20.9% (county), 19.9% (state)
> Population: 633,704
> Life expectancy: 79.3 years
> Largest city: Providence

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Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

40. South Carolina: Richland County
> Median age: 33.0 years (county), 39.0 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 21.8% (county), 22.3% (state)
> Population: 404,869
> Life expectancy: 77.4 years
> County seat: Columbia

Source: Túlio Assis / Flickr

41. South Dakota: Todd County
> Median age: 24.4 years (county), 36.8 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 40.1% (county), 24.7% (state)
> Population: 10,016
> Life expectancy: 68.5 years
> County seat: Winner

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Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

42. Tennessee: Montgomery County
> Median age: 30.5 years (county), 38.6 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 27.0% (county), 22.7% (state)
> Population: 192,120
> Life expectancy: 76.7 years
> County seat: Clarksville

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Source: phototram / Wikimedia Commons

43. Texas: Brazos County
> Median age: 25.8 years (county), 34.3 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 20.6% (county), 26.3% (state)
> Population: 214,231
> Life expectancy: 79.9 years
> County seat: Bryan

Source: kenlh / Getty Images

44. Utah: Utah County
> Median age: 24.5 years (county), 30.5 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 34.5% (county), 30.4% (state)
> Population: 576,496
> Life expectancy: 80.8 years
> County seat: Provo

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Source: Thinkstock

45. Vermont: Chittenden County
> Median age: 36.6 years (county), 42.8 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 18.4% (county), 19.2% (state)
> Population: 160,985
> Life expectancy: 81.4 years
> County seat: Burlington

Source: Joel Carillet / Getty Images

46. Virginia: Lexington
> Median age: 21.6 years (county), 38.0 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 7.6% (county), 22.3% (state)
> Population: 7,113
> Life expectancy: 80.3 years
> County seat: N/A

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Source: redfishweb / Getty Images

47. Washington: Whitman County
> Median age: 24.5 years (county), 37.6 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 15.1% (county), 22.5% (state)
> Population: 47,794
> Life expectancy: 81.4 years
> County seat: Colfax

Source: BackyardProduction / Getty Images

48. West Virginia: Monongalia County
> Median age: 30.9 years (county), 42.2 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 16.3% (county), 20.5% (state)
> Population: 103,715
> Life expectancy: 79.2 years
> County seat: Morgantown

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Source: Royalbroil / Wikimedia Commons

49. Wisconsin: Menominee County
> Median age: 31.4 years (county), 39.2 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 32.4% (county), 22.5% (state)
> Population: 4,506
> Life expectancy: 72.8 years
> County seat: Keshena

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Source: RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images

50. Wyoming: Albany County
> Median age: 27.1 years (county), 37.0 years (state)
> Pop. under 18: 16.4% (county), 23.7% (state)
> Population: 37,944
> Life expectancy: 80.5 years
> County seat: Laramie

Methodology:

To identify the youngest county in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median age of each U.S. county from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey. Data on the share of residents under 18 years, the share under 5 years, and population changes also came from the ACS. In Alaska, county equivalents are referred to as boroughs or census areas, and in Louisiana, parishes are county equivalents. In counties without a county seat, the most populous city is listed. In our analysis, we included independent cities, which the Census categorizes alongside counties. In counties without a county seat, the most populous city is listed. We did not list a county seat of most populous city for independent cities.